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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  July 25, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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to support ufs. the oceans die, we die. people really have to understand that. >> larry: we're an ocean planet. >> we are. it should be called the planet ocean. >> yeah. >> larry: thank you all very, very much, for an illuminating hour. bob, we salute you. >> thank you. thank you. >> larry: "whale wars" airs friday nights on animal planet. it is a great show. i'm don lemon. our special, who is shirley sherrod begins in just a moment. but we're working a number of developing stories for you tonight. the search is on tonight for two american soldiers missing and reportedly kidnapped in afghanistan. nato says they left their compound in kabul yesterday, and never came back. an afghan intelligence source says militants abducted both of them. also, in afghanistan today, five other u.s. soldiers were killed in bombings in the southern part
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of that country. to the midwest now, where a massive rainfall in iowa has caused a dam to fail. rushing waters burst through the lake delhi dam just hours ago. so far there are no reports of injuries. the area is mainly rural, and much of the affected area is farmland. iowa governor has issued disaster declarations for two counties. he tells cnn 10 inches of rain fell across the area in about 12 hours. >> you're talking about a catastrophic break in the dam. that has never happened before. and once again, here in the midwest, and in iowa, we're dealing with, you know, record flood levels, in certain parts of our state. >> in chicago, people have been using boats in the streets following a wave of torrential rainfall. parts of the city and suburbs
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got hit with more than 7 inches of rain, flooding streets and interstates, knocking out power to thousands and canceling airline flights. rescue teams in several suburban towns used boats and even a helicopter to search for people stranded by the rising water. in the gulf of mexico, the storm danger has passed and ships are now back at the site of the bp oil well. cnn's david mattingly has more from louisiana. david, good evening to you. when will those boats be back on site, back to work? >> reporter: they are all back on their way right now. in fact, the drilling platform that handles the relief well that needs to be drilled is already on scene. they hope to have that in operation just as soon as possible. but it's not just the ships and the vessels out there in the gulf that they have to put back into place. these barges behind me are parked in a lake here in slidell, louisiana. there are dozens of them back there. they all have to be moved back
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into place tomorrow. these were actually defenses for the coastal areas to keep the oil from getting into lake pontchartrain. there are a lot of moving parts that have to move back to where they were, as they were fighting this oil. but right now, all eyes are on that drilling platform. how soon can they get that back up. they're hoping within a matter of days to be back on track. but so far, this storm that actually didn't happen, as it fell apart on its way here, has actually cost this operation probably, don, about a week. >> so that's the time frame for about a week. everyone, i ask you every time, because we're hoping that there's better news about the relief wells. that's really what's going to stop it, david. what's the news on that? >> reporter: well, there are two things we need to watch for. sometime later next week, we're going to see them attempt these static kill. that's when they're going to pump mud, fill that well up full of this heavy liquid and essentially drown that well and render it helpless. that's going to be a big day when they do that. the threat of that well leaking
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will be over at that time. and then a time after that, we're looking at seven to ten days when they will be able to finish that relief well and finally just kill this well completely. so again, this set us back about a week. if that storm hadn't come through, we would be seeing the end of that well right now. >> cnn's david mattingly. david, thank you very much. coming up here on cnn, our special report, "who is shirley sherrod." begins in just a moment.
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welcome back, everyone. shirley sherrod right now is mulling over a new job offer from the obama administration. it is a consolation of sorts for the shabby treatment she got this week, after a right-wing blogger unfairly portrayed her as a racist against whites. nothing could be further from the truth, however.
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all the same, she was forced out of her job with the agriculture department. then as the facts came out, an embarrassed white house had to issue an apology to sherrod. for the next half hour, you're going to meet a humble and remarkable woman who did everything right but still, fell victim to a vicious smear. i spent the day with her to find out, who is shirley sherrod? afterwards we'll have a panel discussion on what her experience reveals about race in america. >> shirley sherrod was accused of racism. >> you reach out to her and say, what are you talking about? when did this happen? >> did you discriminate? >> shirley sherrod caught on tape saying something very disturbing. >> i said, get the whole tape and look at the whole tape. >> we begin with the smearing of shirley sherrod. >> this is showing racism at an naacp event. >> he didn't care who he destroyed. >> ms. sherrod must resign immediately. >> no one wanted to hear the truth. >> i don't know what brought up the racist mess. >> this is a good woman. she's been put through hell. >> at the center of this fury
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and frenzy -- >> please welcome shirley sherrod. >> shirley sherrod, an unassuming woman from rural georgia. now a household name. >> shirley sherrod. >> shirley sherrod. >> shirley sherrod. >> burning up the airwaves, thrust into a political firestorm. was there ever a discrimination claim filed against you? >> never. >> turning up the heat on the white house. >> on behalf of the administration, i offer our apologies. >> all this attention couldn't be farther from sherrod's humble roots. roots, though, that grounded her in the dangerous, even deadly world of racial tensions. newton, georgia, the deep south. 180 miles south of atlanta. a typical southern farming town. >> you had to get up before daylight and get food and try to
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be in the field as the sun was coming up. >> walking down the streets near her hometown, sherrod remembers working in the cotton fields as a young child. >> you had a sack that you put on, and the sack went over this shoulder, you know, and the opening was here. so you're bending over picking cotton and putting it in the sack. and when it gets full, you got to take it over to a burlap sheet and pour it on there. and you did that all day long. >> reporter: shirley sherrod's family has lived in this area since the 1800s. all farmers, share croppers, who over the years bought more and more of the land they worked. she grew up in a small house with her father and her mother, and her five younger sisters. sandra, one of them, recalls how her father always wanted a boy. >> he called us boys' names.
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shirley was bill. my sister next to shirley was gus. i was sam cook and they still call me sam. and then my sister next to me, she was blue, because she has blue/green eyes and my baby sister was bitty because she was the runt of the group. in a way, he would talk to us at the dinner table and he would always say -- find yourselves. and don't ever forget, help everybody you can. >> my husband always believed in feeding kids. our home was the center for everybody's child to come in and have joy. >> reporter: but the chores were not easy. >> we had to pump water early on. we didn't have any electric well. we had to pump water now, not just for us, the cows had to have water. the hogs had to have water. the chickens had to have water. so, you know, you're pumping
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water for everyone. we were so happy when we got an electric pump. we no longer had to pump water. >> so that was your upbringing? >> yes. and church. oh, don't forget church. every time the church doors opened, we were there. >> sherrod's father was a deacon. she believes it was that devotion that got their family through tough times. >> the lord will make a way somehow. my mother used to sing it around the house all the time. you'd hear her singing that, i think i know why now, times were so hard. and she would always sing that song. the lord will make a way somehow. >> reporter: the farming was hard. being black, even harder. the 1960s, jim crow laws divided the south and the races.
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>> growing up in a segregated south for people that don't know about it, what was that like? >> we would always get the hand-me-downs from the white schools. they got the new buses. we got the used buses. they would get new books. we would get their books that had pages torn out of them. >> they couldn't even drink water at the water fountain. they had to go to the colored side and they had to go to the bathroom where it was filthy. if they went to the restroom to get a sandwich, you had to go to the back window, and they would hand you a sandwich out of the back window. it was rough. >> reporter: and dangerous. >> we knew where to go, where not to go. and if you did, you knew what would happen to you. it was dangerous even on the highway, riding along, because those -- they had deputies that would stop people and beat up folks.
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>> reporter: sherrod remembers that sheriff. >> he loved being called a gator. and he could do -- i don't know -- i never heard an alligator make a sound myself, but the sound that an alligator makes, is the sound that he would make. and it was supposed to scare you to death. during the civil rights movement in baker county, he had a sign up at his service station saying "we want white people business only." yes, i grew up knowing we were powerless. >> reporter: yet, at an early age, shirley witnessed blacks fighting for power. it was the fall of 1961. she was just 14. >> albany, georgia, a negro fight against segregation is led by the reverend martin luther king. >> and if necessary, we must be willing to fill up the jails all over the state of georgia. >> reporter: civil rights
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leaders descended on nearby, albany, georgia, fighting for desegregation through nonviolent protest meetings and marches. it was called "the albany movement" and it lasted nearly a year. more than 1,000 protesters ended up in jail. it was unsuccessful, yet it made an impression on young shirley. you were 14 years old. >> we were supportive of the albany movement. we were raising money to support the albany movement. >> reporter: it was a tough time to live. and even tougher time to grow up. >> i didn't want to live in the south. i planned to get out of the south forever. >> you wanted to leave? >> yes. >> reporter: but that all changed. one spring day in 1965. >> they called me to the principal's office. i was such a good girl. good student. i couldn't figure out why they were calling me to the office,
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but i went. and they told me first that he had been shot. >> the murder that changed shirley sherrod's life forever. shirley sherrod's life forever. when we come back. y intake
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as a young girl, shirley sherrod, she was shirley miller then, dreamed of getting out of the deep south. >> we had these big plans for me.
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i was trying to look at going to school in the north. back then they said a woman would find a husband at college. i thought, okay, i'm not going to risk even going to college in the south because i don't want no husband from the south. i want to go north. >> reporter: meanwhile, her father was on the virge of fulfilling one of his dreams. with five daughters, his wife was pregnant again. and he was sure this would be a boy. >> he had a room built. the room back there was blue. he said, this is going to be for my boy. and he had planned -- he told me, he said, when we go pick the baby up out of the hospital, i'm going to get you a brand-new car and bring my baby home in a car. >> but the family's dreams were about to be shattered. in 1965, in this field, shirley's father and a white neighbor reportedly butted heads. a dispute over who owned which cattle. shirley says witnesses saw the confrontation.
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>> according to the others, my father told him, we don't have to continue arguing. we'll just go to court. and he was walking to his truck to leave. he turned around to say something and the man shot him right up here. >> reporter: shirley, at school, was called to the principal's office. >> they brought me in to tell me first because i'm the oldest. and then they sent for my four sisters. and we were all there in the office just crying. we didn't know whether he was dead or alive. >> that was our hero. that was our dad. and we had a teacher that took us to the hospital. and to see daddy lying out on a bed like that, it was horrible. i mean, -- >> reporter: as for prosecuting the suspect -- >> he was never, ever prosecuted.
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the white grand jury in baker county refused to indict him. >> did it make you hate white people? >> you know, initially, i wanted to hate white people. i wanted to hate -- i wanted to get back at every white person. my initial thoughts that night was i need to go pick up a gun and go find him. but i knew i couldn't do that. because it just wasn't me. >> reporter: everything had been turned upside down. and shirley's cherished plan to head north suddenly seemed uncertain. >> there was a full moon. and i sat there praying and asking god to please give me an answer. i have to do something. i need to do something. >> when i prayed to that god and that full moon, what happened? >> it was almost like he spoke to me in my mind. i didn't hear anyone talking but what came to me was that you can give up your dream of living in the north. you can stay in the south and
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devote your life to working for change. and i remember a calmness came over me. because i had a game plan. >> reporter: after graduating from high school, shirley enrolled in a local college for black students. her younger sisters integrated the all-white high school and faced a terrifying backlash. >> i was doing homework and i heard all these cars coming down the road. being way out here in the back woods in the country, that's unusual. when i looked out the window, i saw this cross. and it was burning so i went to wake my mother. >> i was in the bed. and she called me and she said, mother, get up there. there's a cross burning out here in the front of the house. i said, what? she said, a cross. >> well, my mother was not afraid. she had children there, young children. my brother just born. of course, she went to get the gun. >> my second daughter was here
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and i said get on the telephone and start calling some people. >> they came immediately. and they put their cars in front of our house in a line and they started shooting. >> and i went to the door and they was just loud talking out there and carrying on and i started shooting. >> they knew that our family was very active in the movement. so they were trying to scare us. >> but i really do believe that some of them got sprinkled that night with buck shots, because my brother-in-law and his son was out there just letting it go through in the woods. >> that's how we stuck together. that's the strength we gained from each other in the civil rights movement. >> reporter: the local civil rights organizer was a transplant from virginia. where he helped found the student nonviolent coordinating committee. a young firebrand named charles sherrod. >> we had no idea of the monster
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that we were undertaking to fight. >> reporter: across the south, white officials were using every trick in the book to keep civil rights activists in check. to keep black voters from turning out. that helped set the stage for a violent confrontation as demonstrators began to gather here at the courthouse in downtown newton on a day that became known as "bloody saturday." >> i saw some whites coming out of the hardware store with ax handles. and they approached us and started beating us with the ax handles. they beat us down into the ground. >> hand my aunt jo, she was a little petite woman, she put her body over his and was hollering at them to stop beating charles sherrod because they were going to kill him. >> reporter: but that didn't
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stop sherrod from driving back woods roads to meet every black family in the area. >> i was canvassing and bank accounting, knocking on this door, and three or four pretty girls came to the door. they started talking about this girl, their sister, that was prettier than either one of them. i said, prettier than either one of them? lord, i want to see this girl. so they said, they got a picture. i said, i want to see the picture of your sister. and i pointed it out, and i said, i'm going to marry that girl. >> reporter: he did marry shirley. it was a love story. in a land of hate. phone threats became part of the household routine. >> nigger, we're going to burn you out of your house, we're going to blow your head off. we're going to do this and we're going to do the other.
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it was just the regular, nigger, nigger, nigger. >> i told them to be careful because i knew they were determined. and i just told them to be careful. my heart would just bleed for them going home, because i wouldn't know whether they would make it or not. >> she kept telling shirley, you got to stop. but she kept pushing. she said, mother, it's going to be all right. >> reporter: just ahead, organizing black farmers to take on the white establishment.
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here on her family farm in baker county, georgia, shirley sherrod's experiences as a young girl would shape her professional life. with black-owned farms heading towards extinction, sherrod wanted to help. >> that's when she made up her mind that she was going to stay here and try to help make a difference in this community. she's always been determined. a strong person. >> reporter: in 1967, shirley and charles set out to change the land, literally. 6,000 acres to be exact. they helped created a land trust for black farmers with a long-range plan to build wealth. it was called "new communities." one acre at a time it grew into one of the largest tracts of black-owned land in the country. >> the whole idea of new communities, we had big plans,
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was to go about the country buying land, holding it in trust and turning it over to local community development corporations. >> reporter: it embodied everything she hoped to achieve when she decided to stay in the south. an achievement that would have made her father proud. but the sherrods' white neighbors viciously opposed it, often resorting to violence, shooting at their home. >> i remember the bullet holes over my bunk bed. you know, it was, i guess a third of my life i had a bullet hole right where i slept. >> i was actually asleep and i was awakened by him karate chopping my door in telling me to get down. and you can't imagine what that does to a young child. >> reporter: in the beginning, the farm was successful.
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but the drought-stricken '70s forced sherrod's organization to seek an emergency government loan. the money came but not for three years. by then, it was much too late. according to the sherrods, white agents were in no hurry to write checks to black farmers. the property was foreclosed on. >> the first three years we made attempts to get loans from fha. this was a government program which promoted itself as the last help that you could get from anywhere. but in our case, when i walked into the office, he told me the only way you're going to get a loan is over my dead body. >> reporter: after losing the farm, life for the sherrod family became very different. money was tight. bills mounted. >> i would walk in a couple of times, late at night, getting up, and see my mother crying over the bills. >> reporter: in 1984, shirley sherrod took a job at the federation of southern cooperatives, headquartered in
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east point, georgia. her boss was jerry pennant. >> she was able to save a lot of farmers of all races, hundreds of farmers in georgia. that were impacted by shirley. nationwide, probably thousands. >> reporter: one of the white farmers she helped, roger spooner. but she was hesitant to help out at first. and that initial hesitation would later ignite an immediate -- a media frenzy. in 1999, shirley sherrod and other activists sued the u.s. department of agriculture for discrimination. ten years later, pigford versus glickman would become part of the largest settlement in history. >> on july 8th of last year, our lawyer called me and said, shirley, have you heard? it's like 10:30 at night. she said "we won!" and i'm like, really? she said, you want to guess how
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much? i said, is it at least $1 million, rose? she said it's almost $13 million. he was awarding $150,000 each to me and my husband for mental anguish. >> just weeks after the settlement, sherrod was offered a job at the very department she had just successfully sued. in august of 2009, shirley sherrod became the georgia director of rural development for the department of agriculture. speculations surfaced raising questions about whether she got the job as part of the settlement. >> one didn't have anything to do with the other. >> reporter: are you surprised people are bringing this up? how do you feel about people bringing this up? >> you know, it's, you know, just another way that they try to twist the facts to make it look and seem like something else. >> reporter: during her long career, fighting for civil
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rights, there was one life-changing moment. a story about her personal struggle over race. the story of that white farmer who came to her for help decades earlier. >> reporter: when this short, edited version of the speech was posted by a right-wing blogger shirley sherrod was labeled a racist" and asked to resign. but there was much more to the story. >> that's when it was revealed to me that it's about those who have versus those who have not. and not so much about white and black. it's not, you know -- it opened my eyes. >> reporter: the next day,
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sherrod appeared on cnn. she said her words had been twisted and taken out of context. >> what was the point? >> the point was to get them to understand we need to look beyond race. >> reporter: stepping into back up her story, 87-year-old roger spooner, and his wife, elouise. >> reporter: i have someone who wants to speak to this whole controversy. her name is elouise spooner. elouise, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. what do you think of this whole controversy? first of all, what do you think of shirley? >> she's a good friend. they have not treated her right. she's the one i give credit for helping us save our farm. >> reporter: the woman whose father was allegedly killed by a white farmer would have her reputation rescued by a white farmer.
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sherrod hasn't seen or spoken to the spooners in more than 20 years. but three days after grabbing headlines across the nation, that would change. >> i want the first hug. this means a lot to us. this means a lot. >> it means so much to me, too. thank you. thank you. >> reporter: a long-awaited reunion. a picture of racial unity. we're digging deeper into this controversy. you'll hear from our panel of experts about how this story spun out of control and the don't i? [ barks ] because i think food speaks a language of love. that's what inspired me to rethink dry dog food. [ female announcer ] chef michael's canine creations. [ chef michael ] mmm. tender shredded pieces made with real meat... and crunchy garnishes to enhance the mealtime experience.
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just how outrageous this sphere really was. of thank you both for joining me tonight. you guys doing okay? >> pleasure. >> yeah. >> yes. thank you for having me. >> so, mark, the conundrum for the first black president is that he can't really delve into the issue of race. >> that's exactly right. but part of the reason is because president obama didn't run as the first black president or the first serious black candidate as some would say. instead he ran as someone who just happened to be black. he was, as someone would say, incidentally black. race neutrality, race tran sen dense was around him. if he talks about race, he becomes the black candidate. that's the last thichk he wants. he wants to stay as far away from race as possible.
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we don't get to have the racial conversations we could have. the other problem is, he promised he had special insight into the race in america. we've seen none of that over the last two years. >> i get that, someone who happens to be african-american. i use that. but usually it's on people who are involved at least when it comes to racial issues. you can say that. but that doesn't -- you know, he is black to many people. he's not just the person who happens to be black. do you understand the distinction? >> absolutely. there's no doubt about that. over the last two years if president obama has learned nothing else, he's also black to a big sector of the voting public. the problem is he wants to stay away from race talk. whenever he talks about race, he re minds the public about race. >> is he uniquely qualified to deal with this, but in some ways cannot do it? >> i think he believes that he
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cannot do it. and yet being half white, and having been raised by white people, he is in a unique spot. and he can provide a perspective that would be important, i think, to a lot of people. he has done that in the past. whether it was during the reverend wright controversy, during skip gates. when he actually does take the time to reflect, the american people actually enjoy a mature and grown-up conversation from him. >> okay. i posed a very similar question to shirley sherrod when i interviewed her yesterday and the day before. i want you guys to take a listen and i want you guys to talk about it. >> you know, you heard your mama say this too shall pass. you know, we need to get into it. you know, it's not going to last forever. but it might get us to the place where we need to be. so yes, he might get some negative press early on, but we get through that.
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and then get to really trying to deal with the issues. he's got to be willing to do that. is he not doing that simply because he wants a second term? i don't look at it that way. >> she is saying, mark, that the truth is the truth. and it doesn't matter if you take flack for it or not. that's her point of view. and that's the point of view of many who fought the civil rights movement. >> no, that's exactly right. now, some could argue that operating outside the white house, we have the luxury of speaking hard truths to people in power, even when it's uncomfortable because there's nothing at stake. i totally agree that the president has some kind of political calculus that he has to take seriously before he says things in public. but there are moments you have to take tough stands. before he was president, sean bell was shot in the streets and instead of speaking to power, he says we should respect a jury's verdict. when we sauf the jeremiah wright controversy, instead of really
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talking about the danger of white supremacy, he talked about we're all in this big community of frustration that has equal merit. that's simply not true. now, there are moments that -- >> i want to move on because i want to talk about the conservative blogger. i want to talk about the naacp. and the administration. the administration many feel threw ms. sherrod under the bus. the same with many african-american commentators who all commented in the beginning before they heard the entire clip, cheryl. there are many people who are not so sure how they even feel about these organizations right now. >> absolutely, the challenge for the naacp at this point is reaching the new hip-hop generation represented by black bloggers online. when they criticized -- i mean, the naacp, when they criticized the tea party for -- and asked them to cleanse their ranks of
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racism, they were following the lead of black bloggers who have been calling for this for over a year. they initially were -- initially received a strong response from black bloggers. now the hip-hop generation has soured somewhat. then you have shirley sherrod who represents the current membership of the naacp. she's 62, she's in that age. women like shirley sherrod are the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. they are the bridge between the old jim crowe world, or a world they helped to create. the challenge for the naacp is how do they keep shirley sherrod basically engaged in their struggle. >> marc, so where do we go from here? when we ran earlier, a section -- a portion of the -- someone said to me maybe this will open up and we'll start talking more about it and it will change things. and i said, we said that after the election of the first black president and nothing happened. now we have this moment.
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we talk about it for a little while and nothing happened. is that what's going to happen every time do you believe? >> until we make a substantive change. until we stop allowing right-wing media outlets to determine what our agenda is. like the naacp aren't completely reactionary. you know, based on the politics of the right. this is going to happen. until you have an obama administration that isn't quite, frankly, just scared of white people, you're going to continue to see this thing happen. >> you said the last thing, that the obama administration is scared of white people. i've heard that a lot. i've heard it on radio, i've heard people say it, i've written about it. so many times perception is reality, marc. we'll see what happens with that. thank you both. have a great weekend. >> pleasure. >> thank you. amazing and terrifying video from canada. a pilot ejects from his jet seconds before it crashes. and explodes into a ball of flames. this incredible story straight ahead.
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check your top stories right now. a search is on for two american soldiers purportedly kidnapped in afghanistan. nato says they left their compound in kabul yesterday and never came back. an afghan intelligence source said militants abducted them.
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five other u.s. soldiers were killed in bombings in the southern part of the country. the u.s. and south korea have kicked off their joint military drills despite a north korean threat of nuclear retaliation. but so far, there's no report of any troop movements in the north. south korea accuses north korea of sinking one of its war ships in march killing 46 sailors onboard. u.s. defense officials say these drills are a response to that incident. police in germany are now saying at least 18 people of died today during a sam pied in a tunnel at a techno music festival in duisberg. it's possible hundreds of others were hurt during love parade 2010. police say they were trying to block others from entering the event when the panic started. some 800,000 people were expected, and about 1.4 million of showed up. that's according to mtv, again. a canadian fighter pilot is
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recovering after he narrowly escaped a fiery jet crash. the pilot was practicing stunts before the alberta international air show when his cf-18 hornet suddenly went down. you can see the pilot eject and parachute to the ground. just ahead on cnn, we'll take a look at how cnn -- our cnn hero of the week is saving babies by providing big sisters for pregnant young women.
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fln american babies are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as caucasian babies. this week's cnn hero finds volunteers to work with pregnant african-americans to ensure they have get proper prenatal care. take a look. >> african-american babies die two to four times of the rate of other babies. as a public health administrator, i use the words infant mortality every day. but until i held a dead baby in my arms, i never realized that that meant counting dead babies. my name is kathryn hall-trujillo, and i remind women they're really sisters and can help each other have healthier babies. what we're saying is that you don't have to have this by yourself. >> the birthing project takes regular women in the community like me to work closely with the
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sisters throughout their pregnancies. and after they have the baby. >> i wanted a big sister to teach me things that i don't know. >> my job is to just really help you. whether it's figuring out how you're going to pay the rent, have food in the house. make sure she goes to her prenatal appointments. i want to make sure you're not stressed in order for you to have a healthy baby. >> healthy babies are born into healthy communities. >> pretty special. >> we've been doing this long enough now that you can hear a child say, i was born into the birthing project. that means more to me than anything that i may have given up, because in return, i have received a whole community. >> there are only a few days left to nominate someone to be a cnn hero of the year. make a nomination at
1:55 am you have until august 1st. he's a man who will oversee the drpgs of bp's claim funds. ken feinberg is one of the most sought-out people on the gulf coast.
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through the years they've seen hurricanes come and go. but many say they've never dealt with anything like the bp disaster. the point man comes to town, and they let him know. they want answers. and they only want the help they deserve. >> i've been in business since 1967. we process shrimp. we have shrimp boats. in '69, we had frederick in '79, later in 1985 when a hurricane comes in, we can count our losses. we've done it before. it's hard. miserable. but this -- we just don't know what to do. >> i'm here primarily to listen to what you want to tell me
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about this oil spill. >> i thought bp would pay for lost income and profits for anybody affected by this oil spill. we've been affected. >> i haven't worked since april. >> unless we get some type of help, we'll close the doors permanently. >> i don't think we should be on the back burner. >> there are some very tough questions here, i must say, even for me they're tough. >> the claim center in mobile is just down the street from my store. so i stop there very frequently. but nobody knows naefg. >> when you get a man from detroit in that claim office and all he knows about is building chryslers, we're the dumbest people that ever set before their desks. >> i completely agree, a person from detroit working down the street, disconnect. it's not going to work. >> unless you're here on a daily basis, all the things you say


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